It may seem strange to see a pair of teams with four or more losses near the top of the Xcellent 25 baseball rankings, but Orange Lutheran and Mater Dei have faced some of the toughest competition of the season and deserve the benefit of the doubt.
First, both the Lancers and Monarchs traveled to the National High School Invitational with Orange Lutheran going 2-1 and Mater Dei going 4-0 with the tournament championship.
Both also play in the rugged Trinity League, which houses some of the top talent in California's Southern Section. Additionally, Orange County, where both schools reside, may be the single best county in the nation for producing Major League Baseball talent.
Last week, the teams played in a spectacular series with Mater Dei winning the first game 1-0
and Orange Lutheran grabbing the second game 8-3
. With Orange Lutheran also winning the first matchup between two teams in March, the Lancers sit atop the Trinity League standings and also stay one spot ahead of the Monarchs in this week's Xcellent 25 national baseball rankings.
Only two teams join this week's rankings as Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Colo.) and Liberty (Mo.) replace Seven Lakes (Katy, Texas) and Bloomingdale (Fla.).
The one major drop comes from Columbus, which lost to Mill Creek and Parkview last week in suffering just its second and third losses of the season.
MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Baseball Rankings 1. (1 last week) Olympia (Orlando, Fla.), 27-0
The Titans captured the 8A-3 district championship with a 3-2 win over West Orange on Friday. Jesse Winker
had an RBI triple in the sixth that drove in the winning run. Michael Hennessey
went the distance for the win, striking out seven. Olympia will open the 8A state tournament against Boone (Orlando) on Thursday.
2. (2) Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.), 17-4
The Lancers split their two games with Mater Dei last week, losing 1-0 early in the week but taking an 8-3 decision on Friday.3. (3) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 17-5
The Monarchs split their two games with Orange Lutheran last week, winning 1-0 and falling 8-3. The Monarchs lost the season series with the Lancers, falling to Orange Lutheran in their league opener on March 19.4. (5) Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), 28-2
The Gaels picked up three wins, routing Durango (Las Vegas) 18-1, Spring Valley (Las Vegas) 9-5 and Western (Las Vegas) 10-0. Cody Roper
, Justin Jones
and Johnny Sewald
all homered against Durango while Joey Gallo
hit two against Spring Valley.5. (6) Calallen (Corpus Christi, Texas), 29-1
The Wildcats finished the regular season with a 9-4 win over Reagan (San Antonio). Bi-District play begins May 5 for Calallen.6. (7) Carroll (Corpus Christi, Texas), 24-3
The Tigers bounced back from the loss to Calallen by whipping King (Corpus Christi) 11-1. Courtney Hawkins
had two home runs in the win, lifting his season total to 10 round-trippers.
7. (8) Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.), 25-1
The Tigers won the District 11-5A championship with a 9-2 victory over Robinson. They also topped Middleton 12-2 during the district tournament. Max Beermann
hit home runs in both wins. Lance McCullers
threw a two-hitter against Middleton with 11 strikeouts.8. (10) Nova (Davie, Fla.), 21-1
Nova got a no-hitter from Trent Monaghan
in a 6-0 win over Cooper City in the District 17-6A semifinals. Nova then edged St. Thomas Aquinas 2-0 for the district title.9. (11) Winter Springs (Fla.), 27-1-1
The Bears captured the District 4-7A championship with a 3-1 win over Oviedo. They also dropped Evans 11-1 in the semifinals.10. (12) Pelham (Ala.), 35-3
Pelham faced a tough second-round matchup with Hoover, but managed to capture a 4-3, 3-4, 7-5 best-of-three series win and advance to the third round of the Alabama Class 6A state playoffs.11. (15) Providence (Charlotte, N.C.), 22-1
Providence remained undefeated in the Southwestern 4A standings, defeating Sun Valley 12-2, Butler 4-3 and East Mecklenburg 8-2.12. (16) Lexington (S.C.), 24-2
Lexington won twice last week, beating Lugoff-Elgin 13-3 and James Island (Charelston) 4-1.13. (22) Martin (Arlington, Texas), 27-2-1
Martin won twice, beating South Grand Prairie 8-1 and Paschal (Fort Worth) 3-0.14. (13) Broken Arrow (Okla.), 30-4
Broken Arrow went 3-1 during the week, beating Edison (Tulsa) 15-3 and 5-2, and Houston (Germantown, Tenn.) 6-0, but falling to Union (Tulsa) 8-7.
15. (14) Mount Carmel (Chicago, Ill.), 23-1
The Caravan lost their first game of the season in a matchup against the state's No. 2-ranked team in St. Laurence. Mount Carmel lost 1-0 after defeating St. Laurence earlier in the week 16-2.16. (17) Owasso (Okla.), 27-4
The Rams avenged a loss to Bishop Kelley with an 11-8 win, however Owasso split with Stillwater, winning 11-1 and losing 4-1. Also defeated Tahlequah 6-1.17. (19) Lake Braddock (Burke, Va.), 15-1
Lake Braddock won twice, beating T.C. Williams (Alexandria) 18-1 and West Springfield (Springfield) 9-0.18. (20) Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) 19-3-1
Harvard-Westlake won three games last week, defeating Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) twice, 2-1 and 3-1, and Simi Valley in the Chatsworth Tournament, 3-1.19. (4) Columbus (Ga.), 23-3
It was a tough
week for the Blue Devils, who lost 1-0 to Mill Creek and 5-2 to
Parkview. They also pulled out an 8-2 victory over Marist. The Blue Devils
begin postseason play on Friday.
20. (9) St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.), 21-3-1
The Lancers suffered two losses in West Catholic Athletic League play last week, falling to St. Ignatius 1-0 and Serra 7-3. 21. (21) Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.), 21-5
Parkview lost to Brookwood, 7-3, for the second time this year, but upset Columbus 5-2. Parkview also picked up wins over Berkmar 18-0 and South Gwinnett 10-0.22. (23) St. Laurence (Burbank, Ill.), 22-2-1
St. Laurence handed Mount Carmel its first loss of the season as Kevin Smith
had a three-hit shutout in a 1-0 win. St. Laurence also lost to Mount Carmel earlier in the week 16-2.23. (24) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego), 20-3
The Dons won three times, beating Point Loma (San Diego) 4-2, as well as Mission Bay (San Diego) 4-2 and 6-0.24. (NR) Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Colo.), 15-1
Cherry Creek has bounced back since its lone loss early in the season and currently is ranked No. 1 in Colorado.25. (NR) Liberty (Mo.), 17-1
Liberty is off to a strong start in Missouri and has taken over the No. 1 ranking in the state Division 4 coaches poll.Dropped Out:
No. 18 Seven Lakes, No. 25 Bloomingdale.Watch more videos of Orange Lutheran baseball